In the game Civ V, vanilla, as a test I tried several 2 vs 1s, allied with an AI against one. (3 civ, random leader, no city-states, map from tiny to big)

On purpose, I did very little to help. (Sometimes, I simply put the difficulty to 7. It should still have been a passive boost to my colleague, and the low number of AI doesn't make it come from increased aggressiveness from the enemy.)

The result: our team lost every time. (25 times) with domination, culture or science victory mostly. the fact is : IA +1 person searching some science was less efficient than one IA alone and we were crushed on the middle term

Is there a handicap 'balancing' the teams?

  • Lost in what way? What kinds of victories did the opponent AI achieve?
    – Kyralessa
    Apr 23, 2015 at 4:20
  • 3
    You said you put the difficulty to 7. Remember that the effect of difficulty is inverted for AI allies, so turning it way up cripples your ally while boosting your opponent.
    – Paul Z
    Apr 24, 2015 at 2:19
  • thanks Paul_Z, I didnt know that. That probably answer these cases. Then i have more testing to do.
    – wolfgang
    Apr 24, 2015 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


There is at least science balancing with uneven teams. With 2 players, your teams technologies would cost 1.5x normal. If someone on the team of 2 is not strongly contributing this will result in that team falling behind. Quoting from my previous answer.

Short Answer: The team of 2 has their technologies cost 1.5x normal, but all things being equal (if they each have identical cities to the single player) they produce 2x the Science output giving them an expected research rate of 133% normal (they can research things in 75% of the time).

Longer Answer: Generally, the cost of technologies seems to be multiplied by (0.5 + (0.5*n)) where n is the number of players on a team. For example 4 players makes it cost (0.5 + 0.5*4) = (0.5 + 2) = 2.5 times the normal amount. Note this does not completely balance out the fact that the team produces n times the science output.

I tested this using hotseat games, with all players as Humans on Prince difficulty. I looked at the Science cost of Pottery (one of the first techs) and Future Tech (the last tech). I checked this quick and standard gamespeed.

Quick gamespeed

1 player - Pottery 25 FutureTech 6,684
2 players - Pottery 36 FutureTech 10,025
3 players - Pottery 49 FutureTech 13,367
4 players - Pottery 60 FutureTech 16,708

Standard gamespeed

1 player - Pottery 46 FutureTech 12,597
2 players - Pottery 69 FutureTech 18,896
3 players - Pottery 92 FutureTech 25,194
4 players - Pottery 115 FutureTech 31,493

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